Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi. (Source: Bernama)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia advocates the importance of multilateralism and regional cooperation as well as networks of diplomatic relations to collectively address emerging security challenges, said Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi.

In his remarks at the closing session of the Putrajaya Forum 2016, which wrapped up in Kuala Lumpur on April 19, the Deputy PM said Malaysia and ASEAN member states are strong believers of multilateral engagement.

"I am sure such effective and close cooperation is vital to spawn the ability to identify and address threats of any sort which may be detrimental to regional security and stability," he was quoted as saying by Bernama, Malaysia’s national news agency.

According to him, ASEAN is well recognised as a platform for maintaining regional peace and stability and has continued to engage regional and extra- regional powers constructively.

He said there are still several security issues which remain a challenge in the region's efforts to ensure continued peace and stability.

"The importance of the maritime realm of South East Asia that hosts strategic and vital sea lanes, the Strait of Melaka and the South China Sea, will continue to attract attention and interest," he said.

He added that ASEAN will have to continue to keep adjusting itself, revisit and enhance its capacities and capabilities with the changing times.-VNA